No one carries around a digital camera anymore. Or an mp3 player. Or a paper map. They don’t need to—because one tool does it all.
In every age, humans have continually sought to improve and perfect their work with more efficient tools and methods. The goal? More time, less work, lower cost.
As the economy constricts, people are yet again searching for more ways to stretch the dollar and do more with less. For organizations, this could mean cutting corners and slashing budgets. Or, it could mean consolidating vendors and multiple point solutions in favor of a smarter, more robust business system.
What Is a Point Solution?
A point solution is software that addresses a single pain point or use case. In HR, it may be payroll software or an app specifically for time tracking. In education, a point solution may address keeping grades or tracking attendance. Whatever it is, the software stands alone instead of being part of an all-in-one solution that addresses multiple pain points under the same umbrella.
Sometimes a focused app makes sense, especially for smaller businesses with more basic, targeted needs. But apps and subscriptions can add up quickly, making point solutions costly and detrimental to company scalability in the long run.
The Benefits of Vendor Consolidation
Regular review and consolidation of tech applications is like keeping a tidy house. The people within can move more freely, find things when they need them, and save a lot of headache. In business, the benefits of vendor consolidation include:
Reduced costs. Subscription costs, licensing fees, and storage expenses can add up quickly—especially if you have duplicate software throughout the company. If you’re not receiving a return on your investment, the budget spent on point systems goes to waste.
Greater productivity. According to Microsoft, teams who are able to collaborate in a single tool save four hours per week on average and are five times more likely to be high performing. Employees can get more done when they don’t have to search for the right tool, gain access to data, or share information across non-integrated systems.
Less hassle for IT. More apps, more problems, right? Cloud apps have made it easy for individuals to procure the tech they need, but someone still has to manage it. Platforms or comprehensive solutions meet multiple team needs, eliminating the need for single-use-case solutions and the compliance, upkeep, and security concerns that come with them.
Vendor consolidation also results in “soft benefits” like greater team unity. When multiple teams work from the same platform, they’re able to stay up-to-date and in lock step with partners across the company. This allows everyone to stay connected and work toward shared goals.
Consolidating Vendors: What to Look For in Tools
The average company now has more than 250 applications in its SaaS portfolio. Some of this tech goes unused, but many are duplicate licenses and instances of the software—wasting money and creating data silos in different departments.
As you reevaluate your tech stack and look for ways to consolidate vendors in 2023, consider a tool that has the following elements. When replacing multiple tools with a single platform, you need to be sure it’s a comprehensive solution that brings real value.
1. It Automates Workflows Versus Creating Manual Work
America is by far the most overworked developed nation. But it’s not always about how many hours we work. It’s how efficiently we use the time we have. Often, point solutions are good at accomplishing just one specific task. This leaves employees to manually take action on the data they collect and scale it across the business.
Automated workflows ensure the right data makes it to the right people from the start. It does the repetitive, behind-the-scenes work so employees can focus instead on how data will be used to engage prospects, inform projects, or build customer loyalty.
2. It Spans Multiple Teams, Roles, and Use Cases
One of the biggest problems with having too many tech vendors is that it creates multiple silos throughout the organization. Perhaps HR’s system can’t talk to marketing. Or, sales can’t share data with finance without copying and pasting or attaching spreadsheets to multiple emails.
The major benefit of vendor consolidation is that it brings teams under one roof, allowing them to use the same tools and minimizing duplicate software and data. That means everyone can see the same information, increasing accuracy and consistency. It also means cross-functional managers and employees are on the same page about case, project, or workflow status.
Teams who use a single workplace productivity platform can automate a number of use cases, including:
- Employee reviews
- New patient intake
- New employee onboarding
- Reimbursement requests
- Budget approval
- Customer service escalation
3. It Can Integrate With Other Apps
You’ll never be able to consolidate all your vendors into one, organization-wide solution. But you should have the ability to share the data you collect in one department with another.
Integrations allow you to tap into those function- or role-specific apps like Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, or Stripe and bring data under a common umbrella so it’s actually usable. That way, the integrated solution becomes an all-in-one “hub” for employees around the company to access the most accurate information and interact cross functionally.
Did You Know? Formstack works with 260+ third-party integrations to connect your forms, documents, and signatures to other technologies.
4. It Encourages User Adoption Through Ease of Use
Too often, companies get in the habit of “collecting” software because of failed implementations or lack of user adoption. Instead of generating value, apps sit unused (sometimes without management’s knowledge), wasting money and preventing teams from moving beyond outdated processes.
Instead of simply consolidating vendors to scale back app volume, replace them with a tech solution that employees will actually use and gain value from daily. Systems that are intuitive and easy to use—without intense training or technical knowledge—invite more employee participation from day one. When systems are used regularly, they also achieve higher ROI than other apps.
Formstack is the Ultimate All-in-One Tool
Looking to get more out of your tech investments? The Formstack Platform replaces various point solutions like survey tools, proposal software, and digital signature extensions with one system your entire organization can use for faster, more accurate work.
We help teams increase productivity, bypass IT and coding work, and eliminate data chaos in a single workflow automation platform. In fact, 90% of Formstack customers across a variety of industries say Formstack helps them get their job done.
If you’re in search of ways to consolidate vendors while keeping productivity high in the new year, Formstack is the data capture, document generation, and eSignature collection platform you need to accelerate work.